A sartorial eulogy


Up until about two years ago, I hadn’t worn jeans for probably seven years or so. Nor had I bought a pair since…ever? I think it’s true to say that I’d never bought a pair of jeans, but if I had, it was years and years previous.

My aversion to wearing jeans is sorta complicated. Part of it is that I don’t find denim all that comfortable a fabric. It’s stiff and heavy and never dries if it gets wet (the last a real problem for spill-prone people like me). Also, jeans are what cool kids wear and me, definitely being not cool, figured it’d be better to not even try. Since, lack of effort is cool, right? Also, at age 17, I had a job at which jeans were first discouraged and then, with a slight promotion, explicitly prohibited. I also tend to only have one register of clothing, that of an oxford and chinos, with the recent addition of a tie. I like feeling like I’m dressed for practically anything I might find myself in. I am neither overdressed for casual scenarios nor underdressed for that awkward moment where you walk into a restaurant and realize that the clientele is a bit more done up than you anticipated. I'm dressed for work and for the theatre and for just flaneuring about town. And we all know how tricky it is to be constantly prepared for those last-minute debutante balls you get invited to.

Of course, I’m not dressed for all occasions. Chinos and oxfords don’t really make for the best duds if you need to suddenly run a distance or dash through tangled underbrush. Though, the only imaginable situations in which I’d be doing either of those on a whim are grounded either in emergencies or the apocalypse. Which is to say, if they arise, my habiliments will probably be the least of my worries.

But, two years ago I needed a pair of jeans. I needed them because I was attending a demolition derby. Of course, being me, the obvious spot to shop for these jeans was Banana Republic. I actually managed to find two great pairs of jeans for a combined total of under 30 bucks and had a delightful conversation during checkout with the girl ringing me up.

It went something like this:

“Did you find everything?”

“Yep, just needed the jeans. I don’t own a pair and I’m going to a white-trashy event, so I clearly Banana was the best choice for that.”

“What, are you going to a demo derby or something?”

“Um, actually? Yeah.”

So, I’ve owned these jeans for the last two years. I’ve worn them somewhat rarely (purchasing them did not really answer my other neuroses mentioned above), but I really like them. A lot. I think they’re flattering and, well, isn’t that a sufficient reason for liking them? I suppose they fall more on the comfy side of things, too. So, imagine my sad face when I discovered they have a hole forming. In the crotch. I don’t think I’m tough enough or sufficiently disheveled to pull off the ratty look. I’ve tried looking for new jeans the past few times I’ve gone out shopping, but nothing’s the same. None can live up to my now deteriorating pair. It looks like I’ll be going back to my pre-jean days.

Farewell, jeans. I’ll miss you.


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